Pillow Talk: How to Make Standard Pillowcases (in 15 Minutes) with Any Fabric

How to make standard pillowcases with any fabric in 15 minutes.

Now that our master bathroom is at a good stoping point (not finished, but it’s coming along), I’m shifting gears to the master bedroom for a little bit, with a few projects. Starting with some DIY pillowcases that are made from…wait for it…a shower curtain?!

I know it’s weird, but cool fabric is cool fabric. And when I found this shower curtain on sale for less than $20, I treated it like yardage because I loved the print.

This project is a great beginner sewing DIY and takes about 15 minutes from start to finish – not bad right?! Click through for the tutorial.

DIY pillowcases project. Click through for the tutorial.


  • 1-2 yards of fabric
  • sewing machine
  • iron
  • straight pins
  • thread
  • scissors


Quick note: The measurements below are for a standard size pillowcase. If you want to make a queen or king size pillowcase instead, the measurement will vary slightly, but the adjustments will be minor.

1. Start by cutting two identical size pieces of fabric, that are each 33.5 inches long and 21 inches wide. This will create a 20×30 inch pillowcase when finished.

2. Create a seam for the outer edges of the pillowcase by folding over the fabric 3.5 inches (on the long end – where the opening will be). Then iron down the folded part and pin it, to keep it in place. Sew the bottom edge of that fabric to itself. This will create a faux cuff, kind of similar to the look of a french seam.

3. Repeat step 2 with the second piece of fabric.

4. Then put the right sides of the two fabric pieces together, line up the cuffs that you create in steps 2 and 3. The cuffs side is the opening side of the pillow. Pin the remaining three sides together with straight pins (be sure to keep the cuffed in open) and sew a straight line around the edges of the aiming three sides of the pillowcase.

5. Flip the pillowcase right side out and it’s ready to use.

Easy tutorial for how to make standard pillowcases with any fabric.

DIY pillowcases, using literally any fabric (including yardage from a fabric shower curtain)

White bedroom with a pop of pattern

DIY pillowcases idea

And regarding the other pillows in the final shots, in case you want a source… those are a buy, not DIY. The grid print is under $30 for a set of 2, available on Spring. And the white quilted shams are from Parachute (available in 5 colors). Let me know if you have any other questions about bedroom stuff.

What do you think of this DIY pillowcase project? Think it’d be easy enough to tackle at home?

26 comments | Click here to reply

Where did you find the shower curtain?? <3


Hi Shelby. The shower curtain is from Urban Outfitters, but it’s no longer available online. I bought it in store for 50% off. Here’s what it looks like as a shower curtain though, to give you an idea: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/259801472232990681/


These are lovely and so simple! Reminds me of how much I could make if I actually got around to buying a sewing machine

– Natalie

Natalie Harney

Thanks Natalie. Yes – definitely is nice to have a sewing machine for these types of projects. You could probably do a no sew version though, using fabric fuse tape or adhesive like this: http://rstyle.me/n/ckk6gemvmw


Wow, it’s that easy? Now I have to try it!


Definitely Michelle. And let me know how it goes, if you do give this a try. It’s super straightforward.


Wow, that shower curtain was such a find! The pattern looks like it was always meant to be a pillowcase


Completely agree that the fabric was meant to be a pillowcase, Cat. So glad I found it.


Cool beans!!



After searching for the perfect pillowcases/bedding I finally decided I should just DIY some because there are so many great fabric options. Thanks for sharing such a great tutorial Brittni!


[…] Pillow Talk: How to Make Standard Pillowcases (in 15 minutes) with Any Fabric, by Paper & Stitch […]

Tutorial: Sew a standard pillowcase in 15 minutes – Sewing

My sewing classrs taught me another way and it takes more than 15. We prewash fabrics, iron and line up the edges, french seams, etc. Yours seem so easy. I think I like both ways. My expensive pillow cases always seem distorted after was, but mine stays exactly as made.

Kim Francique-Diep

[…] Make your own pillow cases in 15 […]

Friday Links - The Crafted Life

I love this! x


You’re right that fabric is awesome! x

Claire | Heart Handmade UK

Thank you for sharing this simple pillowcase! I always make matching pillows for the quilts that I make – including an extra one to use as a storage bag for the quilt.
I’ve been doing “French” seams along the three sides, shades of my mother’s formal tailoring style. However, reading & thinking abt yr tutorial — I think I’m going simple seams from now on !! Although I probably will still zig zag edges to keep any ravelling tendencies encased.
Thank you again for a bery simple and usable pattern!


I love that pattern! It would go really well with my couch! LOL


[…] used leftover fabric from the DIY pillowcases, and ended up having just enough fabric to finish the apron. Click through for the […]

Sew Easy: How to Sew an Apron in 10 Minutes - Paper and Stitch

This is SOOOO easy! Thank you for the tutorial! I’m on the hunt for a great shower curtain NOW!

Teresa Sole

Brittni this is fantastic! Bookmarking:)

Anna Liesemeyer

Awesome!! There will now be new pillow cases in every bedroom of our house coming soon. Thanks so much for the tutorial!! Hope you are having a great day!


[…] is really one of the most basic patterns and was the perfect way to reintroduce myself. Here is a simple tutorial you can […]

Indah Hand Dyed Pillows - Emily Alder

[…] DIY hanging planter hack 2. how to make standard pillowcases (for your bed) 3. DIY wall art weaving hack 4. do-it-yourself headboard idea 5. how to turn an old […]

A Walk Down Memory Lane: The Most Loved Projects of 2017 (According To You) - Paper and Stitch

Clever way to add a nice detail! I have a couple of tips that would make it even simpler: In step #1 (if fabric permits), you could cut ONE piece 33.5″ by 41″. Then you only have two seams to make after you make the hem. Also. in step #2, it would be clearer if you said “Create a HEM…. and PRESS”. You could also add that you fold AGAIN. I taught middle school and high school sewing for 30 years and found that I had to spell out directions in order to simplify projects for my students!


Nice idea. Well done. But . . . .It would be a little easier to fold the fabric and cut the two pieces for each case as one, thereby eliminating one of the side seam. Just a suggetion.


I’m super new at sewing, just bought my first sewing machine a few months ago at the age of 60. Wanted to make masks for the family and am getting so stressed out. Someone had posted on the site how sewing is a form of therapy and I responded that I couldn’t wait for that day. A sweet lady named Debby suggested doing a pillowcase and gave me your site. I think I can do this. Thank you for tutorial and the idea of buying a shower curtain. Trying to watch and read all I can in spare time. Slow road to paradise!!
Thank you so much,

Ruth Angotti
Leave a reply